Six stories in the news for today, Sept. 6

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland addresses reporters at the NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, Tuesday, Sept.5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta

Six stories in the news for Wednesday, Sept. 6

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LATEST NAFTA TALKS WRAP WITH WORD OF PROGRESS

The latest round of NAFTA negotiations have wrapped up in Mexico City with the three countries declaring they have made progress ahead of the next round in Ottawa later this month. While sources say there has been no serious movement yet on any of the more sensitive issues, the countries say they have tabled two dozen texts that will form the backbone of the chapters in a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement.

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AIR TRANSAT LAUNCHES HURRICANE AIRLIFT

Air Transat has launched an evacuation operation to get all its travellers out of the Dominican Republic ahead of hurricane Irma. The Montreal-based airline says it is sending 10 aircraft to the Caribbean nation — seven to Punta Cana, two to Puerto Plata and one to Samana. Air Transat says all aircraft should arrive in the Dominican Republic by this morning and passengers should be back in Canada by afternoon or early evening.

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CENTRAL BANK POISED TO MAKE RATE ANNOUNCEMENT

Some experts expect the Bank of Canada to boost its trend-setting rate today, not later this fall as they had anticipated. They've changed their forecasts due to a surprisingly powerful performance from the Canadian economy. Last week, the latest growth numbers showed the economy expanded at an annual pace of 4.5 per cent in the second quarter — a bigger-than-expected surge driven by consumer spending.

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POLL: HALF OF WORKERS LIVING PAYCHEQUE TO PAYCHEQUE

A new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association suggests nearly half of workers are living paycheque to paycheque due to soaring spending and debt levels. The poll found that 47 per cent of respondents said it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed by even a single week. The summer survey of 4,766 Canadian also found that 35 per cent said they feel overwhelmed by their level of debt.

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HELP FOR B.C. RANCHERS HURT BY WILDFIRES

Ranchers who have lost animals and land to the wildfires in British Columbia are getting help from the provincial and federal governments. The governments are setting aside $20 million to help farmers replace lost breeding animals and re-seed damaged lands. Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says the money will also help ranchers with vet bills, feed, fencing, transportation and infrastructure not covered by insurance.

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'GRABHER' LICENSE PLATE CASE BACK IN COURT

A legal battle over whether Nova Scotia violated the constitution when it ruled a man's personalized licence plate was offensive to women is expected back in court today with fresh arguments. Lorne Grabher had his licence plate with the text "GRABHER" — his last name — revoked last year after government officials agreed with a complainant that it was a "socially unacceptable slogan." Grabher's lawyers say the regulation is so vague that it violates the freedom of expression guarantee in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend the National Caucus meeting in Kelowna, B.C.

— The federal Conservatives shadow cabinet will meet in Winnipeg.

— StatsCanada will update several indicators today, including Canadian international merchandise trade for July.

— The Fraser Institute will release studies examining education spending in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

— The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour announces the next step to fight Bill 148, which legislates a wage pattern on 75,000 public workers.

— Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard will release first-quarter results.

— Sentencing in Bridgewater, N.S. today for six teens accused of sharing intimate images of up to 20 underaged girls without consent.

— Hit and run trial resumes in Edmonton for MLA Derek Fildebrandt, who left the UCP to sit as an independent.

— Next appearance for accused in the Chilliwack Cattle Sales case, where three farm workers were charged with animal cruelty.


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